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Mohawk to exit throws, dec pillows 

Sugar Valley, Ga. – A leading supplier of throws and decorative pillows for almost a decade, Mohawk Home will call it quits in these categories come spring 2008. Bill Kilbride, president of Mohawk Home, a division of flooring giant Mohawk Industries, was quoted as making this announcement in local newspapers the Calhoun Times and the Dalton Citizen.

Repeated calls by HTT to Kilbride were not answered.

As part of this upcoming move, the company is shutting down two of its Georgia plants – one each in Calhoun and Dalton. Both produce dec pillows, woven throws and bedspreads.

Mohawk Home first entered the throw category in 1998 by acquiring American Weavers. This move added synthetic fiber throws and later table linens to Mohawk’s offerings, segueing it into Wal-Mart, which became Mohawk Home’s then-biggest customer.

Success came easily with these opening price point goods, so in 2000 Mohawk Home purchased for $36 million the cotton- and jacquard-throw division from Crown Crafts, which included the Calhoun and Dalton plants in question.

Mohawk’s throw business fell by 7% in sales to $57 million in 2006, when it ranked third behind The Northwest Company and Manual Woodworkers. Also third in dec pillows, that category was another decliner in 2006, when Mohawk’s sales fell 4% to $26 million.

Mohawk Home has placed heavier focus in the past two years on its soft floor coverings: bath rugs, with more imported goods, mainly in natural fibers; and area and scatter rugs, with expanded tufted goods and licensed brands like Woolrich, Raymond Waites, and Laura Ashley.

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